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How do you get rid of horse flies & deer flies?

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#1 1keegan


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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:33 PM

We're over-run at the moment with horse flies. We've always had 'some', but now that we have a couple of minis, they seem to have greatly increased their population! They're good sized dive-bombers, and the foal goes about crazy when they buzz him, and his mama is getting welts from their bites, the poor thing. Someone suggested fly predators, but their website says they do not work for either horse or deer flies. I don't want to go insecticide crazy, and fly masks only protect their faces. The deer flies are just starting to come out, but their bite is no fun either.
If any of you have dealt a blow to either types of flies, or have suggestions for dealing with them, I'd love to hear it!

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#2 Marty


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:57 AM

Where are you located?
They aren't here yet but no doubt they are on the way. They are horrible! I don't think they pay too much attention to fly sprays. I have a quarter horse that is so skin sensitive that he will welt up and suffer like you cannot believe so I cover him with mesh cooler/sheet and fly mask and load him up with sprays. Heaven helped me when I was riding him and we were bit. I about kissed my arse goodbye. In the worst part of the day I get him inside before they launch their attack. They don't come in the barn for some reason as a rule, I think the fans help a lot.
I too am leary about using too much insectiside on my mare and foal and using fly masks on them the way the foal jumps all over her, he could easily get tangled up, so I will be watching closely, (all the horses), and get them back in the comfort of their barn when I see these dive bombers coming after them. I can't think of anything else to do about it.
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#3 maplegum


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 03:35 AM

I would agree with Marty. Fly sheets and fly masks are probably your only solution. It's hard watching the horses being pestered by the rotten things.
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#4 Little Bits

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 07:08 AM

The best thing for flies is Fly Preditors. They are actually small wasp like creatures that eat the larve when they lay eggs. We use them at our farm and the 4-h program now use them, they are a healthy smart alternative to sprays. They drastically cut the fly population down. Valley Veterinary has them. They put out by a company called Spaulding. The price varies depending on how many horses and animals you have on the property. It cost 18.95 for 1-5 horses and you get it montly during your fly season. Good Luck.

#5 wildoak


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 07:52 AM

The flies here are horrible this year! I have a spray system in my big barn, and I watch the flies buzz around while it is spraying. Last year it was knocking them down. I do use fly predators in the other barn, and although there are still flies I think it's more effective this year than the fly spray system.
What I am really noticing is face flies, all around horses' eyes. Just drive me crazy (and them too). I've been using the Endure roll on, but flies are back an hour later it seems. Maybe I need a fresh bottle.... wacko.gif
Fly masks & sheets are a great alternative if you have an especially sensitive horse - like Sonny smile.gif - or just a few horses. Too many horses here to even go there.......
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#6 Sue_C.


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:34 AM

OMG! We have black flies and skittos right nosw, but the big guns will be out too soon. This years crop of flies seems three times as bad as usual..The only thing that helps get rid of the darned things around here...is WINTER. no.gif no.gif
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Posted 06 June 2009 - 09:03 AM

I like the fly spray with citronella in it, seems to work better than any of the other kinds.

#8 Bunnylady


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 09:04 AM

I haven't seen any deerflies - yet - this year, but some years, they are awful around here. They like to hang out in my rabbitry. Don't bother the rabbits much, (maybe they're too small to "target") but they can drive me buggy! I find the sticky fly tapes useful. I hang them close to the floor, I don't know if you can do that around horses without the horses getting the tapes stuck on them! I had to hunt around for the best places to hang them, when I got it right, the tapes would get covered in flies within a day or so. Good thing, because the rabbit fur that is always flying around in there covers the tapes in about 3 days, making them no longer sticky enough to catch flies. It doesn't get every fly, of course, but it does thin them out, and makes me feel like I'm doing something! Fortunately, deeflies are only a real bother for about a month to six weeks around here, the other kinds of biters last all season long.

Anybody got any ideas for things like face flies on the legs? my mini mule gets scads of little sores on her lower legs from the bites. I spray, and an hour later, it's like I did nothing. I've considered putting wraps around her lower legs just to keep the beggers off!

#9 chandab


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 11:50 AM

QUOTE (Bunnylady @ Jun 6 2009, 10:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anybody got any ideas for things like face flies on the legs? my mini mule gets scads of little sores on her lower legs from the bites. I spray, and an hour later, it's like I did nothing. I've considered putting wraps around her lower legs just to keep the beggers off!

I don't know where you can find them, but I have seem mesh leg wraps (just velcro on like shipping boots) for keeping flies off the lower legs.
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#10 faithfarm


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 02:31 PM

If you want to reduce the number of horse, deer, dog and other biting flies-paint a beach ball with black spray paint, hang it in an area where they are the worst ( several areas) and coat the ball with Tanglefoot. The flies are attracked to the ball by the movement and heat and when they land, they're stuck. My brother-in-law has 2 black plant liners mounted on pvc attached to the back of his golf cart, he catches flies every time he drives down his drive.